Discipline, wherever you look, is the main driving force behind success. It’s likely to have had a big role in getting you where you are today, and as I write it’s shaping the futures of countless other people around the world. Though you may have pretty tight self-discipline, how are things within your workforce? If you’re worried about the state of self-discipline at your business, here are some tips for establishing and maintaining discipline in the workplace.
Clarify the Responsibilities of Your HR Department
When it comes to relations between your HR department and the bulk of your employees, clear lines have to be established. For example, your HR managers are going to have some kind of role in hiring and firing employees, but the workers’ supervisors or managers should do the actual hiring or firing. Therefore, if one of your employees does anything which violates the code of conduct, the final decision on whether or not to fire them should go to the manager they answer to directly. While HR will certainly have a role in executing the termination, you need to make sure they’re never overstepping their mark. If you’re finding it hard to organise your HR effectively, it may be worth hiring an HR consultancy and defining their function more clearly.
Clarify the Code of Conduct
If you’re running a particularly small business, then you may have set out the rules orally, and be getting by just fine on this system so far. However, if there’s nowhere where you’ve codified what is and isn’t acceptable from your employees, it can really come back to bite you later. Make sure everyone’s operating under an employee handbook which clearly defines acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in the office. From simple conflicts of interest and insubordination all the way up to serious misconduct like theft and sexual harassment, it all needs to be set out in a clearly defined code of conduct. This will ensure you don’t hit any big obstacles when you want to terminate a worker’s contract, and let everyone in the office know exactly what’s expected of them.
Provide Leadership Training
When your business is small enough, you might be able to provide all the necessary leadership personally, and have a direct role in inspiring individual workers, and pushing them to achieve the best that they’re capable of. However, once you’ve grown a little, this will simply become impractical, and you’ll need to pass this work onto your managers. Some managers are going to be natural leaders, and will have no problem drilling in discipline and keeping your workforce on-track. In many start-ups, however, your higher-ups may just be a group of like-minded professionals, who might be great in their individual fields, but don’t have that much managerial experience. Take some time to assess the leadership skills you have at your disposal, and consider some leadership training to help discipline trickle down to everyone in the organisation.
If discipline seems to be waning at your business, these tips should get it back on track.